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Aviva Premiership: Saracens make changes for top-of-table clash with Northampton

Last Updated: 26/10/13 2:46pm

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Saracens have shuffled their pack for Saturday's clash with Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.

Loosehead prop Richard Barrington is set to make his full debut in the front row, while Kelly Brown comes in for Billy Vunipola to wear the six jersey, alongside Ernst Joubert and Jacques Burger in the back-row.

In the backs, Nils Mordt starts his first game of the season at fly-half, partnering Richard Wigglesworth in the halves, with Fijian international Michael Tagicakibau replacing Chris Ashton on the wing.

Phil Dowson will wear the captain's armband when he leads Northampton and the Saints team shows five changes from that which beat the Ospreys last weekend.

Kahn Fotuali'i makes his first start on home soil and Mike Haywood, Ken Pisi, Calum Clark and Sam Dickinson are all selected in the starting XV.

Exeter Chiefs make three changes for the visit of Worcester to Sandy Park; Brett Sturgess returns at loosehead prop in place of Ben Moon, Jack Yeandle gets the nod at hooker over Chris Whitehead and Fetu'u Vainikolo takes over on the wing from Ian Whitten.

Vainikolo's promotion from the bench means that Welshman Tom James is recalled to first team duty having recovered from an ankle injury sustained a fortnight ago.

Quins look to bounce back

There are six changes to the Harlequins side that lost to Clermont last week ahead of Sale's visit to the Stoop.

With Mike Brown, Joe Marler and Chris Robshaw being retained by the England squad, Tom Williams is named at full-back. Sam Smith starts on the left wing with Ugo Monye, who has recovered from a knock sustained against London Irish, starting on the right wing.

Karl Dickson comes in at scrum-half, with Danny Care, who was released back to the club by England, ready to make an impact from the bench. Rob Buchanan is unavailable for selection due to a ruptured pectoral muscle sustained against Clermont; the hooker will have surgery and is expected to return at the end of January.

Meanwhile, Sale have made five changes to the side that beat Worcester last time out. Jonny Leota moves from 12 to 13 as Sammy Tuitupou starts at inside centre.

In the pack, Andrei Ostrikov replaces Michael Paterson in the second row while Henry Thomas is at tighthead prop in place of Vadim Cobilas.

Worcester arrive at Sandy Park with a handful of former Chiefs within their ranks; Ignacio Mieres, Josh Matavesi, John Andress, Josh Drauniniu and Danny Gray have all previously pulled on the Exeter jersey.

Ofa Fainga'anuku will make his Warriors debut, the giant Tongan will play in the front row alongside fellow prop Euan Murray and Argentinian international Agustin Creevy, who makes his first start at hooker.

Scrum-half Jonny Arr is in line for his first Warriors start of the 2013/14 campaign, Mieres returns to the fly-half position and Dean Schofield is back in the starting XV alongside Mariano Galarza, who will make his Premiership debut.

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